When a St. Louis alderman suggested last week that St. Louis police officers might not care about the City neighborhoods in which they patrol, it is unlikely that he was thinking of Police Officer Norvelle Brown. Norvelle Brown was an armed, trained, on-duty police officer murdered last year by a teenager using a handgun given to him by another teenager. On and off duty, Officer Brown cared deeply about the city and its people. His City honored his memory today by unveiling a monument at the recreation center at which he had volunteered his time. He was a wonderful person who should not need a monument, not need a monument so soon, so young.
I used the sad occasion of the ceremony to urge St. Louisans to make every effort to get handguns off our streets; to spare no effort to improve schools for our kids and to involve more parents in their children’s lives; to support the police officers who continue Officer Brown’s mission of public safety; to work to identify more and better economic opportunities for all City residents, especially young people; and to nurture the strong, swift community resolve against criminal behavior that Officer Brown’s death engendered.